Local Atmosphere

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3 College Sophomore

Local Atmosphere: I love Dallas, but it's personally a little snooty for my taste. I just love SMU too much to leave.

1 person found this useful Report
5 Recent Alumnus

Local Atmosphere: Highland/University Park is a very attractive, safe, and wealthy area. There are many shops, bars, etc. within walking distance. Getting around Dallas without a car, however, is difficult; public transit can be a pain to navigate.

2 people found this useful Report
5 College Junior

Local Atmosphere: Right in the center of Highland Park. Can it get better?

5 College Sophomore

Local Atmosphere: Dallas is the greatest city in the country. SMU is in Highland Park which is known for being the most expensive neighborhood in Texas. SMU is surrounded by trendy restaurants, high end shopping, and fun bars in Uptown. SMU is pretty close to downtown, so it's very common for parties to be held at clubs downtown or for formals to be on the top floor of a skyscraper. Getting a job after graduation in Dallas is very easy, especially in business and engineering. Most students want to stay in Dallas after graduating. Dallas has plenty of sports teams if you get sick of watching the Mustangs lose.

1 person found this useful Report

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Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Peter Goldschmidt
Jefferson City, MO
Financial Consulting
View all previous student authors

To the non-Dallasonian, this city may seem like nothing but tall cowboy boots and hats. But, if anything, Dallas breeds sophisticated cowboys. When I say cowboys, I am not referring to the ones that ride horses and chew on hay; I am alluding to the polite and sociable ones. By the time you are ready to graduate, you will have the best handle on the ins and outs of the city; however, at that point, it will be time for your departure. But for now, you have four years to explore. SMU is located in the midst of the Park Cities, which is comprised of University Park and Highland Park. Both areas are the wealthiest ones in Dallas. The best aspect of this area is its safety. The community is one similar to Pleasantville, where everyone knows everyone. And it is true, there is something here for everyone. The neatest thing about Dallas is that it features live music every night of the week, most of which will be found in Deep Ellum. The museums and Fair Park constantly feature new works of art.

There is always something to do, and everything is at your fingertips-if you have a car. The shopping and dining scenes in Dallas are among the most prestigious places in the nation (San Francisco, New York, Miami, Beverly Hills). Dallas is the home of several top sports teams. Not only do you have the best of what's around, but if you're low on cash, you can still find something amusing to do on any given day. White Rock Lake is a mere five minutes from campus if you're in the mood for a bike ride or a jog. Of course, everyone is aware of the crime rate here. Just as with any other urban city, the best thing to do is to use common sense. Do not embark on a journey into new territory unless it is with a friend. With all that said, I am still finding little treasures in the most remote parts of the city.

Facts & Statistics

Fun Local Trivia
  1. Dallas ranks as the ninth largest city in the U.S.
  2. The State Fair of Texas has been held every year since 1886 in the same location: Fair Park.
  3. Dallas, the television show that ran for 13 years, featured the Dallas area.
  4. CBS's Walker Texas Ranger, was filmed in Dallas.
  5. With more than 13,000 births per year, the Dallas Parkland Hospital System is the largest birthing center in the country. Oooh, baby!
Notable Natives
  • Jensen Ackles
  • Erykah Badu
  • Ernie Banks
  • Clyde Barrow
  • William Ramsey Clark
  • Emily Erwin
  • Martie Erwin
  • Morgan Fairchild
  • Melinda Gates
  • Peri Gilpin
  • Angie Harmon
  • Norah Jones
  • George McFarland
  • Meatloaf
  • Tracy Needham
  • Aaron Spelling
  • Stevie Ray Vaughan
  • Owen Wilson
  • Robin Wright
Local Slang
  • Blows: Another word for sucks or stinks; "this blows"
  • Fixin': Southern way of saying "about to" or "fixing to"
  • Izzle: This is attached to everything, mostly by guys
  • Ya'll: Southern way of saying "you all" or "you guys"
Points of Interest
  • American Airlines Center
  • Ameriquest Field
  • The Dallas Museum of Art
  • The Dallas World Aquarium
  • Hurricane Harbor
  • Lone Star Park
  • The Meyerson
  • Music Hall at Fair Park
  • Six Flags over Texas
  • Smirnoff Music Centre
  • The Texas Motor Speedway
Shopping Centers
  • The Galleria
  • Highland Park Village
  • Mockingbird Station
  • NorthPark Center
  • Preston Center
  • West Village
Movie Theaters
AMC Northpark
8687 N. Central Expressway
(888) 262-4386
Movie Theaters
Angelika Film Center at Mockingbird Station
5321 E. Mockingbird Ln.
(214) 841-4700
Movie Theaters
Cinemark 17
11819 Webb Chapel
(972) 247-8172
Movie Theaters
Loews At Cityplace
2600 N. Haskell Ave.
(214) 828-6008
Movie Theaters
The Magnolia at West Village
3699 E. McKinney Ave.
(214) 764-9106
Movie Theaters
Regent at Highland Park Village
32 Highland Park Village
(214) 526-9668
Major Sports Teams
  • Dallas Burn: soccer
  • Dallas Cowboys: football
  • Dallas Stars: hockey
  • Texas Rangers: baseball
Distances to Nearest Major Cities
  • Austin: TX: 3 hours
  • Houston: TX: 4 hours

Student Polls

Rate the local atmosphere on the following topics    Based on 56 responses

Very poor
  • Cost of living
  • Dining
  • Friendliness of locals toward students
  • Museums/cultural attractions
  • Nightlife
  • Parking
  • Parks and recreation
  • Professional sports
  • Safety
  • Scenery
  • Shopping
  • Transportation

What is the local atmosphere like at your school?    Based on 56 responses

  • 0% Painfully remote.
  • 5% In or near a big city, but there's not much to do off campus.
  • 0% Small town with plenty of charm.
  • 4% Vibrant college town. There's no big city, but there are plenty of things to do off campus.
  • 91% City living at its finest. There's always something fun and interesting going on.

What is the proximity to other universities? Is there much interaction?    Based on 56 responses

  • 12% There aren't any nearby schools.
  • 64% There are nearby schools, but students do NOT interact much.
  • 23% There are nearby schools that students often interact with.

Can you see yourself living here after graduation?    Based on 55 responses

  • 4% No way.
  • 29% Maybe, if I could find a good job.
  • 67% Totally.



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